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Mothercare to pull out of store operations

Mothercare has confirmed that it is seeking to further develop its international franchising operation and that it will now seek to turn its entire UK store estate over to a franchise partner. This will involve 79 UK stores changing hands. The news comes as the retailer's latest trading update for the 15 weeks to 13th July showed a fall of 3.2 per cent in like-for-like sales with online sales falling by 12.1 per cent.

CEO Mark Newton-Jones said: "We have recently presented the newly designed global product range and the global brand marketing campaign to our franchise partners, both of which have received a positive response."

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